Thursday, June 9, 2016

Last Day of School ~ Thursday 6/9/16

This is it!  This is the last day of school for my two youngest kids... well, really only my daughter as my youngest son only needs to go in for his "Promotion" Ceremony at mid-day.

So Greg worked from home today so he could attend, my daughter is going to try to make it to the Ceremony too although it'll all depend on how long the line will be to get out of the high school, and Youngest Son got to sleep in.

As did I!  I fell asleep on the couch last night. I was exhausted!  It's hard work to sit on your butt for 7 hours and read an entire book in one setting!  Greg said he tried to wake me up to go upstairs but I was snoring and not hearing him. I think he's lying :)  I finally woke up at 4:30 a.m. and dragged myself to bed.  Then the alarm rang at 6:45 a.m. and I thought that since 3 of us could actually sleep in today,  I would indulge and got up at 7:30 a.m.  The problem with that is that then it throws me off my routine.  It's now 9:15 a.m., I'm 2 hours late starting this post, I'm still in my PJs and it just dawned on me that summer vacation means that there's going to be someone at home

Well, let me qualify this: my youngest son is going to be home every day except for 2 weeks when he'll be camping with this dad/visiting his paternal grandparents.  He'll also be volunteering at the library almost every weekday when he's in town.  OK, things are looking up. What?  You thought I'd be happy to have my kid at home when I've been whining about my daughter being gone for 8 weeks? You'd be wrong. I like being alone for 6-8 hours at day. Then I love it when they all come home, lol.  But it won't be so bad because Youngest Son tends to sleep until noon if he doesn't have to be anywhere anyway.  The only problem with that is that the darn cat are going to driving me batty because they whine and whine and whine until he finally gets up. Yes, even if we do feed them for him.  I've had to chase them away from this doorstep already several times this morning and New Kitty is about 2 whines away from being dropped off at the pound if she doesn't watch it (kidding!).  I can't stand whining from people or pets.

Anyhoo... so the plan today is that at some point in the next hour I will show my son how to iron his clothes (he washed his woolen dress pants after I specifically warned him NOT to do that and also put them in the dryer, aaargh, but they seem OK), take a shower, get dressed.  Then at about 11:10 a.m. Greg and I will walk to the middle school (very tight parking situation there so we don't even try) and then we'll all walk back.  Maybe I'll go out and pick up lunch to celebrate the end of the school year.

Then this afternoon I need to put my butt in gear to get ready for Daughter's departure tomorrow morning (I'll be driving her to her dad's since I don't want our family car to remain at his house for 8 weeks!): I need to print and laminate the medical insurance cards for her, write the thank you note to my former BIL and SIL and the check to help with food and gas, and make sure she has everything she needs.  Her room is a mess and I warned her that she'd better clean it before she leaves or I will... and I'm NOT a pack rat when I'm forced to clean a kid's room because by then I'm so mad that I had to do it that I throw away everything that's left on the ground just to teach them a lesson. So she's going to be busy as well.

Otherwise, all the other items on my To Do List are still there... I'll see if I can knock some off today but honestly, I feel Summer is here for me too and I might just take a break from chores for a few days.

Yesterday I wiped down my kitchen cabinets and thought that while I was at it painting the Master Bedroom in a few weeks, maybe I should repaint my kitchen cabinets too because they really need it. Maybe in some kind of enamel paint that won't chip and in a color that won't show the dirt quite so much (brown?! Black?!). I painted them a very pale yellow 12 years ago because I wanted a bright kitchen and I still love bright kitchens but they need a lot of cleaning, that's for sure. And we all know that I don't enjoy cleaning.  So I don't know if I'll do it. It's a lot more work than I feel like taking on but also if I don't do it, I'd have to wait until the next time everyone else is gone from the house and who knows when that will be (Thanksgiving?).

Alright so for continuity's sake I'm posting my to-do list but I don't anticipate adding many "Done" in green type today:
  • Transplant ferns into bare patch in front lawn to make shady planter
  • Iron
  • Finish letter to my great aunt
  • Caption old pictures that have already been scanned
  • Scan more old pictures
  • Scrub patio pavers with bleach to remove mildew
  • Get new potted flowers for the patio
  • File paperwork
  • Enter some Coke codes into MCR
  • Finish painting squirrel sign and assemble it
  • Create spreadsheet to track IRA contributions using ALL our old tax returns
  • Look into fertilizing the raspberries
  • Trim weeds alongside berm edging
  • Add more mulch to berm
  • Research bird feeders at Ace Hardware and poles too.
  • Download all May photos to my external drive
  • Write May grocery shopping recap post
  • Replace roach traps
  • Inventory supplies for master bedroom painting project
  • Research extension cords for generator
  • Call eye doctor to make annual appointment
  • Call gyneco to make annual appointment
  • Find the cats' rabies licenses
  • Exercise! 
  • Make a solar oven
  • Compose reply email to Viviane
  • Print and laminate medical cards for daughter - Done
  • Vacuum living room and breezeway
  • Sweep the main stairs
  • Write a thank you note and a check for my former brother- and sister-in-law who will be hosting my daughter for 8 weeks (her dad and I are splitting food and gas costs for her) Done
  • Sign up for Herp Hike?
  • Try to figure out why the new propane tank isn't working?! Maybe I didn't connect it properly. Or order new connecting hose?
  • Go to AT&T and see what we need to do to lower the cost of Greg's phone plan since it's now paid off
  • Study dSLR camera manual
  • Spray oven cleaner on the shower stall walls once everyone is away for a few days, scrub it all clean, and redo the grouting too
  • Do dishes. Arggh, AGAIN. Done
  • Fold laundry
  • Call in refill at pharmacy - waiting on email back from Pharmacy Benefits.
  • Bake strawberry summer cake
Update: well, I did NOTHING. It's 8:22 p.m.  We did go to the Promotion Ceremony where they showed a slideshow and we saw our son featured in it 3 times, and then we walked home. I offered to go pick up lunch and then drinks from RaceTrac and we agreed on Chinese.  So the kids and I drove to RaceTrac and the Chinese restaurant and I returned a library book before coming home.

Then we all ate Chinese and I read library books on my Kindle and took a nap on the couch because it got really dark and rained. And then rained some more.  For dinner I told everybody to just forage for food. We all pretty much had leftovers from lunch anyway. Now my stomach hurts because my stomach always hurts after eating a lot of crappy Chinese food.  Ugh.

Greg talked to his parents this afternoon. They're still running tests on his dad and some results should be back tomorrow but he'll remain in the hospital at least for a couple of more days.  Thanks for all your thoughts. Believe me, I know how hard it is to find the right thing to say. I never know what to say myself.  Don't feel like you have to say anything :)  It's a big thing happening in our lives right now so I wanted to share it here.

My daughter doesn't want to leave until about 10 a.m. tomorrow so I'll have plenty of time to do what I still need to do for her tomorrow morning if I don't get it done tonight. I think I'm in deep denial that she is leaving for 8 weeks. Eight.long.weeks!  Update: I got it done tonight.

She thanks everyone for the nice comments you wrote about her hair.  She actually doesn't like it. It looks nice in the picture in the back, but the front... well, it looks very amateurish.  Her scalp, the nape of her neck, and the palms of her hands are very pink, lol.  And the color isn't distributed the way she wanted it. Oh well, lesson learned, right? I think next time she might have more patience and save money to get it done professionally.

  • Greg worked from home today, saving us about $20 in gas and tolls.

  • I reused water collected in the shower to flush the toilet.

  • SavingStar credited me with $1.00 for the Purex bought at CVS and $6 towards another rebate?  Maybe Haagen Dazs is part of Nestlé?  I wasn't expecting that.

  • I had an alert on Camel,camel,camel for Season 3 of "Cheyenne", an old TV series about a cowboy that Greg really loves. I had already gotten him all the other seasons on DVD when the prices had dropped but Season 3 remained too expensive for me.  Today I had an email from "camel" letting me know that Season 3 had dropped to $19.99 so I ordered it for Greg as a surprise for Father's Day. I used $14.98 in Discover Rewards so I only paid $6.41 OOP. Woohoo!  And I picked the No Rush Shipping option so I'll also get a $1.00 digital credit. Double woohoo!  If you've never used Camel, camel, camel, you should give it a try. It's free and a great tool to save money on items that you might want to buy from Amazon but can afford to buy once the price has dropped. Note that there is no guarantee that the price WILL drop.  Those Cheyenne DVD alerts had been set about 1 to 2 years ago.  Also, the neat thing it that you pick the price point at which you would get an alert.  So basically you name your price and then wait for it to be reached.

  • I earned the daily Bing Rewards credits and a few Swagbucks.  I'm still only up to 1,900 SB.

  • I took two RaceTrac surveys and earned 2 more freebies. 

  • Redbox sent me two codes for a free movies (you can use those BOGO codes to get the first movie for free if you only rent one). Of course.  I just paid to rent Zootopia 2 days ago and NOW they're sending me codes.  Arrrgh. There is nothing else we want to watch on Redbox!

  • The kids and I drove to RaceTrac and got free drinks refills with our Sodapalooza cups for Greg, myself and our son (I bought my daughter a soda) and we all redeemed survey reward codes for free cookies.

  • I returned the 7-day book at the library without incurring any late fees, and also returned 2 e-library books (library e-books?).  I borrowed 2 more e-books.
John Sandford is my favorite crime novelist. I've already read those 2 books, probably a couple of times each but I can't resist reading them again! Meanwhile, I am making no progress on my list of books that I wanted to read in 2016 :(

  • In the afternoon, Greg drove back to RaceTrac and got us free drink refills. Thanks, honey!

  • Dinner tonight was leftovers from lunch.

  • DVDs of a show Greg loves. He probably won't watch it again until he retires (it used to be on Netflix or Amazon Prime so he had rewatched the whole series several years ago) but it's here for when he wants it.

  • Lunch from the Chinese restaurant.  We did get several free egg rolls since I spent more than $30. I charged it to Discover since we get 5% back in Rewards through June.

  • A soda fountain drink for my daughter at lunch time($1.29).

  • $160 to my former BIL and SIL for 4 weeks of gas and food.  $40 in cash to my daughter (and she has my credit card too).

  • My daughter must also be in denial because she started reading the details of the dress code for the camp tonight and realized that she needed a short-sleeved cardigan. She's not a clothes horse but she wants a specific kind. So tomorrow morning we've got to go hunt for one at Kohl's or JC Penney.  Arrgh.  I probably could have ordered it online with a larger discount than I'm going to get in the store, but she needs it for Monday so there's no time to get it shipped to CA anyway.

  • Did a load of dishes
  • Ran the dehumidifier in the bathroom
  • Attended our son's promotion ceremony
  • Picked up lunch
  • Returned a library book
  • Printed and laminated health insurance cards for daughter
  • Wrote a thank you card and check for my former BIL and SIL
  • Contacted Girls Who Code to inquire as to daughter's credentials for Monday as they had said they would email them but never did.

  • Today was a complete failure that I'm not eager to share with you.  LOL.

Gotta love today's Google Doodle!


  1. Apologies to those who, like me, who have trouble reading small print. I have no idea why Blogger decided to change the font size on several of my paragraphs after I published the post. It looked fine before I published it!

  2. Congratulations to your son on his promotion.

    Hope your daughter finds the short sleeved cardigan she wants. Nothing like some last minute clothes shopping! When does she fly out?

    Hope you have a lovely day, tomorrow.

    1. We did find a cardigan that she liked in the first store that we visited. She flies out tonight!

  3. Yes. That explains it. The same thing happened to me yesterday re font size. I wondered what I did wrong when everything looked okay at my end.

    When my daughter was the same age as your daughter, she went off to Quebec City by herself for 6 weeks to take part in a French Immersion program with other students from all over Canada and the world. She was part of a group of young Canadians that was accepted on a grant (She was only expected to pay for her transportation to and from Laval University and any spending money for herself) As soon as she stepped inside the doors she was required to speak French only (or sign language *laugh*) but absolutely NO English. She had the time of her life. It was a once in a lifetime event and the friendships she made endured for years. I think she still emails those friends now. Mind you, I missed her terribly. I wrote letters and cards every other day (no email back then); but if I'd known what an impact this would have on her life today, I would have relaxed much more. Hopefully, the same will hold true for you and your daughter.

    1. Blogger can be frustrating, can't it? But then I had my own frustrations with Wordpress a couple of days ago when I was trying to comment on Laura's blog. I guess both platforms have hiccups.

      I read your comment yesterday (even though I'm only replying today!) and shared your story with my daughter as I was driving her to her dad's. She appreciated it and we both agreed that her trip will be one she remembers for years to come and a great opportunity to make personal and future professional connections. It's so nice that your daughter still keeps in touch with friends she made back then! How is her French these days?

  4. Congratulations to your son for featuring three times in his ceremony. I hope you all enjoyed your Chinese.

    Best of luck to your daughter on her camp and I hope you find a cardigan.

    Do the bedroom first and the see if your still feeling like more decorating. Too much can be sole destroying.

    1. Yeah, I should paint the kitchen first since we're there all the time and it really looks terrible these days, but the master bedroom has been bugging me much longer: it's painted baby blue with a stenciled border mid-walls featuring big white bows and... butterflies? I don't even know because we keep the curtains drawn all the time. All I know is that I hate it. If it were just blue and white it'd be OK but that stencil... ugh. I have leftover sage-ish green paint from painting the spare bedroom and the downstairs bathroom so I think I'll use that. As I said the curtains are drawn all the time anyway... I just hope I don't dribble too much paint on the wooden floors. That's always been my problem, even if I cover everything in plastic. I'm a messy person, I can't help it! But I hate painting so much that I'll probably run out of steam after doing the bedroom.

  5. I understand how you feel about not having the house to yourself...when my kids were little, there was always somebody around and private time was a rare treat. One of the things I enjoy most about having an empty nest is that when I get home from work, the house is as clean as I left it in the morning. And...all the food that was in the fridge in the morning is still there in the evening. Ha!

    But I do miss my boys...sometimes. And my granddaughters, too.

    1. That is the one thing that I love when Greg and our son go on their camping trips (apart from not having to cook!)... I can do the dishes and then not find a sink full of dirty dishes at the end of the night, a cereal box left on the table, my clean laundry thrown on the floor because *someone* was looking for underwear... LOL. Don't get me wrong, I am a messy person myself but others seem to think that they're blameless in this. I know much better!

      How many granddaughters do you have, Pixel? Do they live far away?

    2. After having three sons, I now have three granddaughters...(equilibrium in the cosmos has now been restored - ha!). Two live in Buffalo and one is in South Carolina. Too far away... :-(

    3. How fun it must have been for you to have little girls to snuggle with after having had 3 boys! Not that girls are more fun than boys, but it really must have been different.

      Between Greg and myself, we had 3 of each (I had 2 boys and a girl from my first marriage, he had 2 girls and together we have 1 boy) so I feel the equilibrium in my cosmos has already been established and I'm begging my kids to think twice before having kids themselves, lol. Only because I'd like for them to actually make a good living before saddling themselves with the responsibilities of raising children. Sometimes I see myself as a grandma, other times, I really don't.

      Aye, South Carolina is not too bad, but Buffalo? That is far. And it's cold up there. Did you raise your sons bilingually and if so, are they teaching German to their daughters?

      Second question: how good are your Christmas cookies? Because if you bake German pastries for Christmas, I'm going to have to come find you in Lakeland come December. Aldi is nice but real fresh German Christmas cookies... aaaaah. I love them! My dad had a friend who was married to a lady from Köln and she made the most amazing Christmas cookies. One doesn't often think of German bakery when you think of German culture, but it is truly delicious!


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